Tag Archives: New King James Version

I do not know this man !!!!!

A little later others standing around the fire began saying to Peter, “You are, too, one of them, for you are from Galilee!” He began to curse and swear. “I don’t even know this fellow you are talking about,” he said. And immediately the rooster crowed the second time.Suddenly Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.”

And he began to cry.

Mark 14-70-72 Living Bible

Peter, Peter, Peter. Poor Simon Peter. The disciple who walked on water with Jesus and swore to keep Jesus from harm. The one who heard from Heaven that Jesus was the Son of God. It was Peter (along with his brother Andrew) who were the first to drop everything in a moments notice to follow Jesus. Now he is the one who denied Him three times – just as Jesus told him he would.

Peter reminds me a little of myself. I can tend to speak first without thinking. My enthusiasm can get me into trouble at times and like Peter, I lack a filter too often. Peter is almost child-like in his wide-eyed wonder of the world around him. With Jesus, James and John upon the mount of Transfiguration it was Peter who stepped forward with the idea of building memorials to Jesus, Moses and Elias.  But this spontaneous life-loving attitude of Peter will be used greatly in the Kingdom of God.

After 3 1/2 years of traveling with Jesus and suffering from foot-in-mouth-disease and after outright swearing that he doesn’t know Jesus, it is Peter who will stand up in public and preach the first sermon about the deity of Jesus and win 3 thousand souls to the kingdom.

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Peter’s denial of Jesus must have been a very dark time in his life. But having seen the resurrected Lord and being so lovingly forgiven Peter was free to return to his enthusiastic old self – only stronger.

Do not discount the gifts God has placed inside of you. If you see yourself as clumsy, awkward, uncertain or boisterous – just go for it! Be all that you are to the Glory of God. It is your destiny. It’s what you were made to do.

So if anyone asks you if you know Jesus don’t hold back. Stand up and tell them all about Him because He has your back.

Be blessed, Al

The US Mint

Back in April of 1976 my Senior class went to Washington DC. It was a fun trip which required lots of planning and several buses. I remember two things best out of those three days. Lynn broke her leg almost immediately upon arrival in DC (non of the chaperones believed us when we told them she was hurt because it was April 1 or April Fools Day). The other thing that stood out from that weekend was the Mint.

The Mint was a large and impressive building as are many in DC. I don’t recall the tour much but I do remember the presses and the sight of huge sheets of money rolling by. The greatest memory is that of the quality control room. Here stacks of huge sheets of bills would be checked for flaws or errors in printing.

It was the way they checked for errors that stands out all these years later. They would take a fistful of these large sheets of bills and place them on a kind of easel. Then they would take a corner of the stack in one hand pulling it away from the rest and just let them fall back down one at a time – kinda just flipping threw the stack the way one might flip threw a book looking for a certain page. Rarely they would stop and circle a spot or “x” an area. I was amazed at how quickly they were able to spot errors in the printed bills. They didn’t have any example set before them. Just their trained understanding of what the bill was supposed to look like. With that training and understanding any alteration or error stood at even as the pages of bills past very quickly in front of their face.

Oh that we were so well versed in the Word of God! What if we were so educated in the nature of God and familiar with His character that we could spot error in a moments notice! We would be able to spot misquoted Bible verses and doctrinal error in the flip of a page.

When we hear it being said that “The Love of Money is the root of all evil”, we would be able to point out that it is “the Love of Money” not money in and of itself, that “is a root of all kinds of evil” 1Tim 6:10 NKJV

If we are so well-versed in Scripture we will not be deceived as Eve was when the Devil called Gods Word into question and caused her to sin.  “You will not surely die.” Gen 3:4 NKJV

Open Book NYPL B&WStudy to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV

I would encourage all of us to read the Word, read the Word,and read the Word. In doing so you will keep yourself from deception and error. Be Blessed!

(Please note that Eve, by misquoting Gods Word regarding “touching” the fruit, showed the Devil that she didn’t know Gods Word very well.)

 

 

Blessings and Curses – Fathers Day Part 2

Blessings and Curses

These two terms are nearly the most misused and misunderstood expressions heard today. We hear performers and actors say how blessed they are to receive an award as if the accolades of their contemporaries were a gift from God. We read the headlines of tabloid magazines how the curse of this family has taken another life or how a celebrity cursed out the paparazzi in a drunken rage.

Although these usages could be considered appropriate they don’t quite follow what the Word of God regards them to mean.  Merriam-Webster defines Blessing as, in part, approval that allows you to do something; Help and approval from God; something that helps you or brings you happiness. Dictionary.com defines Blessed, in part, as consecrated; sacred; holy; sanctified; worthy of adoration; reverence; or worship; divinely or supremely favored.

Likewise, Curse is defined in part, by Merriam-Webster, as an offensive word that people say when they are angry: magical words that are said to cause trouble or bad luck for someone or the condition that results when such words are said: a cause of trouble or bad luck. Dictionary.com defines, in part, Curse as the expression of a wish that misfortune, evil, doom, etc., befall a person, group, etc.a formula or charm intended to cause such misfortune to another. the act of reciting such a formula. a profane oath; curse word.

So, without doing any further references we can see where our current use of these words comes from. Lets look at what the Bible says about these terms and their usage.

 Deuteronomy 28 is often referred to as the Blessings and Curses chapter of the Book of the Law. Verses 1- 14 spell out the blessings for obedience to God and verses 15-68 lists the curses that will come from disobedience.

In Genesis 27 we see Issac Bless Jacob (thinking he is Esau) by simply speaking over him and into his life –

May God give you of Heaven’s dew and Earth’s bounty of grain and wine. May peoples serve you and nations honor you. You will master your brothers, and your mother’s sons will honor you. Those who curse you will be cursed, those who bless you will be blessed.

We see Jesus blessing a group of children and using the opportunity to teach a valuable lesson at the same time.

Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them. Mark 10:15-16 NKJV

It is these examples of how blessings were given that brings us to my point. The blessings were given out orally. The blesser spoke the words over the blessed and they were received.

Likewise, curses are simply spoken over and into the life of the recipient. Today we don’t think much of curses. We place the idea of curses off to the mythical world of witchcraft and magic. But if we look at how very easy it is to “Bless” someone by speaking words of life and prosperity into and over them why would it be so hard to consider the opposite?

If we can speak blessings (life); “You can do anything you set your mind to do.” “You are a talented girl and should not be afraid to try anything.” “You are a really strong boy and will succeed at whatever sport you play.” How hard is it to realize that we can curse (speak death); “You’re just a stupid idiot! You’ll never amount to anything!” “You’re not as pretty as the other girls why even try to be?” “You’re just a skinny little boy what makes you think you can play with the big boys?”

Care for you

Care for you

I subtitled this post Fathers Day Part 2 because I think it’s important to shed light on just how powerful our words can be. Fathers and Mothers and anyone in authority over a young person can “speak” over and into their lives, words that will shape them for years to come.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue Proverbs 18:21 NKJV

Blessings and Curses. Balloons to lift one up or darts to shoot one down. Are there any words, spoken over you years ago, that still resound in your ear?

Jesus wants you to know that you can overcome those darts by reading what he has to say over and about you. You are His child and He loves you dearly. He has a future and hope for you. Your name is written on the palm of His hand and he holds your tears in a jar. The hairs on your head are numbered by Him.

Jesus is the hot air balloon you need to be lifted up and blessed beyond the darts and dashed dreams of the past into a glorious new life. Trust in Him because He cares for you.

Hurray for Daddy!!!

Fathers Day 2014

It’s been a pet-peeve of mine for some time now how the media portrays Dads. From TV to Movies and even the blogosphere Dads are inept, incapable and incompetent. It’s there female counterparts or even their children that have all the answers, insights and wisdom. This is not the way it is nor should it be.

The Bible has much to say about the authority, responsibility and importance of Dad and his role in the family unit and community. Some would say that the Bible is a chauvinistic piece of literature written by men. That it’s demeaning to women by casting men in a preferential position over them. I suppose a cursory glance at some select scriptures might bring one to that conclusion –

 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Colossians 3:18 KJV (also Ephesians 5:21)

Dad on the beach

But taken in its totality the scriptures resound with verses calling men to be sacrificial lambs for their wives, teachers of their children and protectors of the family. The following verses clearly illustrate two fundamental principals – we are to submit to each other and the man, as head of the wife is to behave “AS” Christ did for the body of Christ (the Church) which was He died for the church.

 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; Eph 5:21-23 KJV

Men are instructed to Love their wives and other duties while women are only commanded to submit (honor and respect) their husbands. (see also Eph 5:24-26 KJV and 28-29)

The Word of God cautions Fathers about being too overbearing to their children –Fathers, do not make your children angry, but raise them with the training and teaching of the Lord. Eph 6:4 

It further places the responsibility for teaching Spiritual things on the Fathers –And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up Deu 6:6-7 NKJV, and thereby puts the burden of their children’s salvation squarely on Dads shoulders. The Bible further state that a man (Dad) should be sober, of good behavior, apt to teach, not greedy or violent, patient and able to manage his household. 1Tim 3

Now, I am not saying that wives aren’t able to teach or manage a household or do any of the things that I attributed to Daddy here. In fact, I commend those wives and mothers who juggle so many tasks and responsibilities, either because there isn’t a Dad at home or because circumstances dictate.  What I am saying is that Dad’s are not portrayed in a favorable light in the secular media. Even The Today Show ran a segment about the disparity between men and women in the media. Check out this paper from Cal. Poly Tech on the subject.

The bottom line is this –

God created Eve from Adam’s side not his head or feet. Neither gender is to dominate the other but Biblically each has a role handed down by God and the Scriptures tell us that clearly in easy to understand terms – if we read all of it. Stereotyping men and objectifying women is just what the world does and will continue to do but it is not Gods way.

Learn what God says about relationships and family – and be blessed.

HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY TO ALL THE DADS OUT THERE!!!

 

Sports Metaphors Abound

So many sports activities have a similar first rule – look closely at the object of the sport. Whether it’s the basket you are shooting for or the baseball you are swinging at or the pins at the end of the bowling alley. If you are looking at something other then the intended target you shouldn’t expect to hit the target.

Our spiritual walk is not dissimilar in this one rule. Case in point – Matthew 14:22-31

Then Peter called to him: “Sir, if it is really you, tell me to come over to you, walking on the water.” “All right,” the Lord said, “come along!”So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Peter knew that there was a storm in progress. He had been in the boat with the others for hours fighting the weather but when he saw (look at intently) Jesus, Peter was eager to join Him on the lake. Peter even stepped over the rail and walked on the water UNTIL he took his eyes off of Jesus and looked at the circumstances around him. That’s when he fell victim to those circumstances.

What a powerful example for us to learn from. No matter what storms we may be in we should keep our eyes on Jesus. In fact the Scriptures say exactly that – Heb 12:1-3

Darkness 1

looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,

Heb 12:2a NKJV

The Living Bible says – Keep your eyes on Jesus! Good advise in any language. So, no matter if the sun is shining on you today or if the storms are raging all around, remember how Peter and the disciples found Jesus in the midst of their storm and know that He is there with you. He is ready to reach out His hand and save you just as He did Peter.

Be encouraged and be blessed.

 

the first commandment with a promise

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6: 1-3 NKJV

That it may go well with you and you may live long.

The Living Bible translates this scripture like this –

This is the first of God’s Ten Commandments that ends with a promise.  And this is the promise: that if you honor your father and mother, yours will be a long life, full of blessing.

Whatever translation you choose to read the idea still resounds. God will reward you for honoring your parents.

See also Exodus 20:12  and Deuteronomy 5:16 NKJV

On this Mothers’ Day as we salute our Moms  and celebrate their devotion in raising us through the years we need to remember that not all Moms are feeling loved and appreciated today. Sadly many Moms (and Dads too) are abandoned or ashamed by their children.  Is it any wonder that prisons and morgue are filling up as our society shows less respect for parents and more concern for what matters only to me.

That it may go well with you and you may live long

Fortunately, God is the God of U-Turns. If  we think that we have been less than “honorable” towards our parents we can repent and turn towards God as we change our ways. Even if our parents have passed away we can still ask God to forgive us of being rebellious and disobedient children. Even if they were less than perfect parents, we can be honorable towards them. God does not tell us to honor our father and mother if they are good and perfect parents. The responsibility is on us to honor our parents. How good a job they do with the children they were given is between them and God. So, if they were poor parents or even abusive derelict parents, we should forgive them.

That it may go well with you and you may live long

It’s a promise from God that He clearly put in writing. No reading between the lines or ambiguity here. Simply put do this and this is what will happen. So, the exact opposite is rationally true. Dont honor your parents and it will not be good for you and you will not live long.

Maybe this should have been a happy funny uplifting post but I don’t tend to plan what I write too far in advance. I write what is on my heart. I speak as a layman – not a clergy. I have to say that this is something that I had to learn and like almost all of my life lessens – I learned the hard way. After years of disrespecting and disobeying my parents and years of speaking critically about their shortcomings I found myself in a bad place. Only by the love of God was I able to learn Gods Word and live a new life.

My parents both died long before I learned what kind of child I should have been but I know that God has forgiven me and I honor them today in how I speak of them to others and by looking back at them with compassion rather then judgement.

Painted Gerber

Finally, I pray that everyone had a wonderful Mothers Day today but if you did not, I want you to know that there is a God in Heaven Who sent His Son, Jesus, to show the greatest measurable amount of love towards YOU! He died so that you don’t have to. He LOVES you and will wash away that hurt you feel because of  a child or a parent who hurt you so long ago.

He will hear you when you call – Honestly, He Will.

The Painter and the Mouse

I backed my van into the driveway next to a similar looking work truck. It had a sign on it advertising a nationwide paint brand and the name of a local painter. At the open back doors of this dusty van stood a small group of construction workers huddled around one guy sitting with something in his lap. Of course I had to see what was up. I drew close and heard one guy ask “Is it dead?” “well, it’s not moving.” answer another guy hammer and tool belt in hand. “no, no no. He’s just cold.” stated the big-fisted guy sitting with a shallow box on the lap of his white painter pants. Inside the box was a thumb-sized lump of grey in the form of a mouse. “you can see that he is breathing so he ain’t dead!” continued the caretaker as he fashioned a bed out of a clean rag around the little guy. As the group dispersed to get on with the remodeling project you could here them talking amongst themselves about the plight of this little creature who was clearly hanging on to life. Being the last to arrive I was the last to leave the scene but not before the painter looked away from his charge to sadly confess, “I almost stepped on him as I unload my truck. He’s cold and hunger and I just had to do something for him.”

The whole event was a study in contrasts. This burly guy and his huge truck compared with this tiny mouse and a cigar box makeshift bed. This business owner with a big life full of responsibilities and concerns compared to this new born rodent with only one worry – survive.

Not knowing the painter I would not speculate on his motivation for showing such concern for the mouse. Yet, I came away wondering if this act was what Jesus had in mind when He said – Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to ever creature. Mark 16:15 KJV

With Resurrection Sunday behind us and Mothers Day and Graduations coming up quickly it’s easy to just get on with life as usual. Even the Disciples went back to fishing before Jesus “sent them” with His mountain top speech prior to His Ascension. and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8b HCSB or, if I may paraphrase – you will show Me to those in your city, your State, the States around yours and even the entire world.

Really?! But how? By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:35 KJV

Blue Bearded Iris 1

As Spring rolls into Summer and Easter fades with the business of life – keep in mind – Jesus said – GO!